The jagged profile of the Teton Range dominates your view to the west from nearly any vantage point within the park. The Grand Teton stands at the center of the range at 13,770-ft., nearly 7,500 feet above the valley floor. A string of glacial lakes dot speckle the base of the mountains, including Jenny Lake, Leigh Lake, Bradley Lake, Taggart Lake and Phelps Lake.
Each recreation area around the lakes offers hiking and strolling opportunities for all ages, as well as opportunities to gaze at the Tetons from a canoe, kayak, or boat. The valley's largest lake, Jackson Lake, also shows off spectacular views of 12,605-ft. Mount Moran – the hulking granite mountain is often photographed from the eastern shore of Jackson Lake or from a cutoff meander in the Snake River called Oxbow Bend further east.
A network of hiking trails begins on the valley floor and quickly ascends into alpine terrain via the canyons that separate each peak. Cascade Canyon, Paintbrush Canyon and Death Canyon are some of the most popular entrances to GTNP backcountry.
The scenic Snake River meanders through the entire length of the park, presenting visitors with a wide variety of outdoor entertainment options. Kayaking, whitewater rafting trips, scenic floats and fly-fishing are some of the most popular ways to enjoy the Snake.
The road system within GTNP offers a non-stop scenic view of the Teton Range. Several pullouts allow visitors to photograph the Tetons from a variety of angles, each one presenting a different but equally impressive mountain vista. If you have not visited GTNP, you will find yourself stopping to snap photos at every opportunity.
GTNP is also home to moose, bison, elk, mule deer, coyotes, mountain lions, pronghorn antelope, black bears and the rare grizzly bear – this bear with a distinctive shoulder hump just behind its head as it gallops on all fours is more commonly seen in Yellowstone Park to the north. The higher alpine terrain features smaller animals such as the pika and yellow-bellied marmot – both a joy to see on a hike as they playfully scamper among the boulders. Listen for their high-pitched whistles as you hike in the high country.
If you are enjoying the outdoors in GTNP, please keep in mind that the weather in this area is unpredictable. A sunny, warm day in the park can quickly turn into a cool, rainy endeavor. Layering is a word that locals know well, and visitors would be wise to be so prepared.